The policy fields are "flooded" with hundreds of bills being introduced at the state and national levels every day. Even for professional advocacy organizations like ours, it's incredibly difficult to keep track and make sense of all of them. We wanted to share just a few of the bills that have been introduced at the federal level directed at improving the health, safety and economic security of women in our country.
H.R. 1516: Healthy Families Act: requires certain employers, who employ 15 or more employees for each working day during 20 or more workweeks a year, to permit each employee to earn at least 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.
H.R. 315 Improving Access to Maternity Care Act: requires the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to collect data to better place maternity health care professionals in existing primary care health professional shortage areas.
H.R. 972: Menstrual Equality for All Act: includes five provisions to help different populations of women and girls better access menstrual hygiene items.
H.R.1143: Hygiene Assistance for Families of Infants and Toddlers Act: would address diaper need in the United States by creating a demonstration program for distributing diapers to eligible families. States will have flexibility in developing and implementing their program. These demonstrations will reveal the best ways to help eligible families access diapers for their young children.
H.R.459: Trafficking Survivors Relief Act: takes critical steps to eliminate the barriers that criminal arrests and convictions create for trafficking survivors. The Act also puts in place a comprehensive system to ensure that trafficking survivors – both sex and labor, adults and children – are able to clear their federal criminal records so that they can leave their trafficking experience behind them.
H.R. 909: The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act: will help bridge the gap between the tremendous need for services for domestic violence survivors with pets and the ability of agencies to meet those needs.
H.R.1276: Closing the Meal Gap Act: increases the minimum SNAP benefit and requires benefits to be calculated using a low-cost food plan. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) must determine the requirements for the low-cost food plan, which is the diet required to feed a family of four.
H.R. 1322 Women's Health Protection Act: would protect a woman's right to safe and legal abortion by stopping restrictive regulations and laws intended to curtail reproductive health services for women.
S.689 - Invest in Women's Health Act of 2017: legislation to provide women with more preventive and life-saving cancer screenings at safety net clinics like Planned Parenthood. This bill would help reduce health disparities by placing an emphasis on populations most at risk, including low-income women and women of color.
If any of these bills appeal to you and you'd like your Congressional representative and Senators, be sure speak out and contact them asking them to support any of all of the legislative proposals.
Cecely Castillo, Policy Director